We are 27 Creative: understanding the bigger picture

Brisbane’s creative industries continue to impress as they combine colour, culture and storytelling with business.

We are 27 Creative has been elevating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and design through cultural connection, awareness and acceptance, working in collaboration with corporations, governments and communities.

In 2022, We are 27 Creative were engaged to create and design Brisbane City Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), along with the Indigenous Advisory Board.  The RAP embodies Council’s commitment to working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop strategies and programs that acknowledge and value the unique contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to our city.

Telling stories through design

We are 27 Creative Principal and artist Riki Salam said the RAP artwork is an initial talking point that allows a visual story to be told.

“It is important that First Nations peoples’ cultures and stories are being seen, heard and considered throughout Brisbane,” Riki said.

“Council’s Indigenous Advisory Board assisted in creating the story of the artwork which depicts the Brisbane River and how it flows from Freshwater Country to Saltwater Country travelling from the West to the East into Moreton Bay.”

Riki sees Brisbane as an important part of the business.

“Brisbane is where we live, work and play. Establishing our studio seven years ago has allowed us to work across a variety of projects in and around Brisbane, including artwork projections, corporate office installations and digital billboard displays.

“Through our work, we aim to embody values and foster practices that lead to the understanding and acceptance of our own and shared cultures.”

Fostering genuine inclusion

When it comes to how local businesses can better incorporate Indigenous art and culture into their businesses, Riki says it has to be genuine and from the heart.

“It has to be done with the understanding of the bigger picture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture within Australia,” he said

“It needs to be guided in a top-down approach with owners and business leaders fully invested.

“This also comes with a strong connection to the community and the knowledge and generosity they provide by sharing their cultures.”

Riki and Diana have vast experience in project management and client consultation, their advice to local entrepreneurs is to not be held back by a lack of commitment.

“Find a dedicated space to do your business from, and if you are really serious about your business, find somewhere that you have to commit to.”

“This will assist you in being able to focus on your business, as well as give you the space to explore and grow.

“When we moved into our own studio space, it signified our genuine attempt at making our side hustle our main hustle and helped us create our own pathway towards a better future.”

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Topics: business

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